Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

June 4th, 2013 kimbacaffeinate Review 69 Comments

4th Jun

Sea of Tranquility
The Sea of Tranquility
by Katja Millay
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: June 20, 2013 (paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

 Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay. All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to. The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Katja Millay blew me away with her gritty, breathtaking, and intense story. Sea of Tranquility brought us the story of two characters that will steal your heart. It’s a story of love, heartbreak, forgiveness and hope. As much as I wanted to savor this I quickly became immersed and consumed it. Three word review: beautiful, breathtaking and memorable.

The tale begins when we meet Nastya Kashnikov as she enrolls for her senior year of high school. Dressed in black and living away from her parents, we know something tragic has happen. She is medicated, in counseling and has created this wall around herself and her emotions. We then meet Josh Bennett, a high school senior carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Josh moves through life wanting to be left alone and loses himself in building furniture with his hands. Chance encounters have the two meeting and the tale that unfolds will have you catching your breath one moment and wiping a tear the next.

Imagine a girl walking down the hall as she passes you, she is staring straight ahead with dyed black hair, black eye make-up, cherry red lipstick, sporting a tight black t-shirt and tiny skirt with a pair of stilettos. She never speaks or makes eye contact but you will have walked right past Nastya. She is complex, beautiful, gifted and so messed up inside. She reveals her tragic story to us slowly and her voice is beautiful and captivating. You feel so many emotions towards Nastya from wanting to cocoon her and protect her to wondering what nightmare things she is capable of. Josh has a voice in this novel too and it’s equally touching. He has suffered more loss in his life then any one person should have to bear and yet there is such sweetness to him. The voice Katja gave him as he shared his story touched me so deeply as a mother and wife. Have you ever had the type of cry, where the tears fall silently down your face and you can barely see the pages anymore? That is Josh’s story. Together they create this strange exotic dance. As they unraveled they build a friendship, learned to trust, opened up and ultimately experienced love. It’s raw, emotional, awkward, silly, and tender. It is so unbelievably real that you become completely invested in them. I found myself rooting for them and hoping against hope that they find a happy place. Drew, family and friends all helped reveal them to us and where equally interesting characters.

Sea of Tranquility is so much more than a romance; it’s a character driven journey that involves friends, family and heart. As the reader the author weaves you into the tale as you feel and experience every emotion through the characters. Her writing style and ability to give voice to the characters was breathtaking. This is the type of book that is meant to be read slowly and savored. Granted, I got swept up in the tale and consumed it in less than two days, but I have already gone back just to read some of the paragraph’s again. It is the type of book you can reread again and again. Here is a quote that I love:

“I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.”~ Nastya; Sea of Tranquility

Seriously?!? Can’t you just feel her emotions! Katja and her characters captured my heart as they shared this story of loss, forgiveness and healing. The author’s grasp of our ability to endure and overcome was so powerfully portrayed. You know that book high I am always chasing? This book delivered that and more. Yes its full of angst, but its beautiful, emotionally draining, hopeful and cleansing. It is a book I will recommend to my daughter, my best friend, my mother and my grandmother. It is timeless, poignant and breathtaking beautiful.

Break out the tissues, grab the chocolate or wine and a copy of Sea of Tranquility. Put on your favorite comfy outfit,(you know exactly what one I am talking about), grab a cuddly blanket, turn of the phone and surrender your heart. You won’t regret it. Honestly, I would buy this author’s next book sight unseen.

Five cups of perfectly brewed coffee out of five

Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Caffeinated Book Reviewer
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She's a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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69 Responses to “Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay”

  1. Katja

    Wow, so glad you enjoyed it! I have this on my TBR and am just waiting for the publication date.

  2. Sam

    Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I did some have problems with it along the way, but I really liked this one too overall. I’d happily read anything else by this author. I hope we do get to see more from her in the future. 🙂

  3. Meg-A Bookish Affair

    I’ve been anxious to read this one and your review has me moving it up higher on my TBR!

  4. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    Your review makes me want to pick this book back up and read it all over again, I absolutely loved it as well, definitely my fave NA ever!

    A fabulous review Kimba! 🙂

  5. Melissa

    I really want to read this now! If it requires tissues, wine, and comfy clothes it’s definitely my kind of book lol. And character development is so important in a good book so I”m glad this has tons. Great review!

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    Aww, thanks cupcake and I am so glad you loved it too. Yeah, this is a book I will randomly pick up and read bits…I love the writing.

  7. Sandy

    Awesome review Kimba! This review made me want to re-read the book. I gave it 5 stars too so it probably will get a re-read from me eventually!

  8. Lauren

    YES! Isn’t this book so emotional and touching? I definitely needed tissues (and chocolate and wine). Love your review, and I love that quote!

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  10. kimbacaffeinate

    YA is a funny little creature, since it deals with characters that are 14 to 17 yrs old and are usually in high school. Some books are clean and deal with teenage romantic angst. They do not have foul language and a lot of the darker issues teenagers face. The publisher asked us to included the warning in our review and I think it’s good to warn folks. Since I am obviously not a teen myself *coughs* I prefer the darker, edgier novels and avoid the young almost middle school ones. I think the YA genre is just like the adult genre in that some are clean and others aren’t. It just let’s parents/readers buying a book for their 14 yr old a chance to decide if their teen can handle the content. Let’s face it, teen issues are real and when tackled right those subjects can be good thing. As for foul language, sex and drugs ..they are something every teen faces.

  11. Debbie Haupt

    thanks Kim. I’m a little confused as to why it’s being shelved as YA and you suggest we keep it away from teens. Why would you keep it away from teens. And here’s a question from one reader to another why do you think these publishers are shelving these really age inappropriate novels as YA, do you think it’s because the genre is so popular now with adult readers?
    thanks for the clarification 🙂
    xoxo
    deb

  12. Diana Leigh

    Teen angst makes me nervous, but that cover is super cool. (I will have teenagers in a few years, and that makes me nervous too.)

  13. Barbara Walker

    I’ve heard so, so many good things about this book and now with your glowing review, I don’t think I can resist much longer. Okay, not just glowing, raving! It’s going on the buy list. 🙂

  14. Lily B

    I started this book, it takes a bit to get into but I heard so much good about it <3 that I cannot wait.

  15. Heather

    I cannot wait to read this one! I just got it and I haven’t seen one bad review yet. I mean not one! How can that be??? Katja Millay must be a flippin’ genuis! I’m dying for a little time so I can read it!! Excellent review. Thanks Kimba!

  16. Anna

    Wow Kimberly. Sounds like an incredible read and whew that little quote. Yeah you can definitely feel that. Goodness. I’m really liking the cover as well. Glad you had such a good experience with this one!

  17. candacerobinson

    Oh wow, what a wonderful review! I might be getting the audio of this for review and I’m looking forward to it very much. Your review has me very excited!

  18. Naomi Hop

    That is a beautiful review…. it sounds like such a great read!! I love those books that sweep you away and bring your emotions out too!!

  19. kindlemom1

    Oh I love that quote, you can really feel her pain in it.
    I am so glad you loved this one Kim!

  20. Andrea

    Beautuful review, Kim. I’m about to cry just thinking about TSoT. It is definitely a book that will stick w/me forever. I actually reread the last chapter a few nights ago, and cried so hard. Most perfect last sentence ever.

  21. Debbie Haupt

    Kim, great review looks like a lot of teenaged angst.
    Thanks

  22. Christa

    I love character driven stories and this sounds absolutely fantastic! The cover is gorgeous too.

  23. Jenny

    I’ve read nothing but amazing things about this book Kimba, I really need to read it! I know it’s going to be one that’s emotionally intense though, so I feel like I need to prepare myself beforehand. This was a stunning review and I can’t wait to experience this book for myself!

  24. Jenea Whittington

    Wow, this sounds sooo emotional. I think I would have to have a case of tissues to read it. I do wonder what happened to Nastya’s life though. Wonderful review.

  25. Toni

    I can’t wait to crack this one open! It’s sitting here, taunting me. haha.

  26. Pnrurbfantasyreviews

    So glad you enjoyed this! I remember why I loved this book and you brought back all the emotions I felt! Wonderful review. I’m also looking forward to more from this author.

  27. Michelle

    I really want to read this one. I wasn’t sure about it before but since I’ve really started reading contemporary I’m dying for it! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m definitely glad it gave you that ‘book high’, lol.

  28. kimbacaffeinate

    It’s not really teenage angst, these are issues they face that any of us could. This really is timeless with no age limit although I would keep this away from you teens.

  29. Trish Hannon

    That quote is amazing, I love it. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. And as a character reader, I’m delighted you mentioned its a character driven journey. So glad you got a book high from it, its what we hope every book will deliver and so few are that special, perfect read. Great review 🙂

  30. Heidi

    I am so glad I impulse requested this a few months back. I have it scheduled I think next week and I am so looking forward to it. The quotes are amazing and I have nothing but great reviews.

  31. Melissa (Books and Things)

    YES! I’m so with you on this book! I also LOVE that quote as you do. Oh and btw, didn’t you just love that ending? I felt like I knew what was coming and then it did! I think I squeed with joy. *excuse me* ;D

  32. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I have yet to see a negative review of this one, and people keep saying that the word ‘romance’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, which makes me kind of happy and excited. My bestie Lisa read it a while ago and she was VERY impressed, so I think I’ll be reading it too sooner rather than later.
    Great review, Kimba!

  33. GRgenius

    You’re right….I CAN feel her emotions just from that passage. Good choice and great review. Thanks for the share!